Review: The Dark Knight

The Dark Night
4.5 Lloyds – Cautionary Family-Friendly
PG-13 for for intense sequences of violence and some menace.

“Why so serious…”

That line pretty much sets the whole tone for this follow up movie to Batman Begins. The latest installment in the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight, reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne in his continuing war on crime. This time around Lieutenant Jim Gordon, along with District Attorney Harvey Dent, and Batman of course, are working to destroy organized crime in Gotham City. But, along the way another mastermind criminal shows up on the scene who quickly turns chaos, into anarchy. The Joker, while on the surface seems to have no plan at all, is looking for the one who will cross the line from hero to vigilante.

The Dark Knight is based on the characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Of course many also remember the “Pow, Bam” and “Ooff” days of the campy Adam West Batman series too. But, let me say once again, The Dark Knight is not your Adam West variety Batman story. This is a full blown epic movie about the Caped Crusader fighting crime in Gotham City, and trying to discover who he is along the way.

Of course there’s been a lot of buzz about Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. Is the buzz true?

It certainly is. Ledger taps into the psychotic ways of the Joker like none before him. As a matter of fact, after the unfortunate and untimely death of Ledger, I think I can safely say no one else will ever do the Joker character justice. Ledger’s performance is stellar. But, lets not forget the rest of the cast either. In one word, The Dark Knight can be summed up as “brilliant.” While Ledger’s performance is incredible, lending to the brilliance of the movie also revolves around Christian Bale’s Batman and Gary Oldman’s Gordon. But, lets also not forget that hands down, Michael Caine is the best Alfred since the days of Alan Napier’s portrayal of Alfred Pennyworth in the late 1960’s TV series with Adam West. And, Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox character is like the scarlet thread, stitching the entire story line together like a well made royal garment.

The Dark Knight is an action filled, sometime serious, and sometimes humorous flick which kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The IMAX experience is also incredible where you at times feel like your looming over Gotham City with the Bat Man himself. There’s a lot going on in this movie, but all of the story lines hold together well. In the end, while we know we will hear from Batman again, the story lines all come to a nice conclusion leaving no questions in your mind as to what just took place.

The Dark Knight is rated PG-13. But, as already mentioned, this is not your Adam West variety Batman. No, this is an edgy, well done movie about the criminal mind, and one mans search for good in the midst of evil. The lessons are plenty and once again I applaud Executive Producer Michael Uslan’s attention to detail. I also applaud his intention of showing that no matter what, even in the midst of total despair, there is hope and a glimmer of kindness and good decision making in humankind.

This is a PG-13 movie, but it might better be suited for the Mature rating we always talk about. While there’s no foul and vulgar language, The Dark Knight is not a family-friendly movie. However, even after saying that, I do applaud the filmmakers for not dipping into a lot of blood, guts and gore. From the content and situations in the movie, you know people are being shot up, and in some cases cut up, but this is not a slasher-blood-everywhere type movie. However, as the warning says, there are moments of “intense violence” that in our opinion makes this better viewed by the 16 and up age bracket instead of a younger audience.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.